Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tor 1,000,000 Years Ago!


Joe Kubert, one of the most innovative artists in comics created the character Tor back in the fifties. Tor was a Cro-Magon caveman who inhabited mythical "prehistoric world" in which dinosaurs, mammlas and ancient humans thrived side-by side. The comic included some "educational" peices about evolution, prehistoric animals and humans which seemed out of place since the stories themselves were obvious fantasy, I imangine even to fifiteis readers. Kubert was inspired partially by the old B& W film one million B. C., which also mixed dinos and humans in the saem period, but had overlarge lizards playing the dinos.The initial run only lasted 5 issues, with some extra 3-d issues I beleive.


But Tor was rebooted during the seventies. The first issue was an all-new Tor story (well, technically, it was partially from a half-complete unpublished Tor story which Kubert had optioned for a comic strip), that told a tale from Tor's youth. The remainder of the series were the fifies comcis all over again. They technically weren't reprints, thought they looked it. They were traced form the originals. This Tor also didn't last long.


Tor also appeared in a continuous all-new silent tale in Kubert's onw magazine Sojourn. It had Tor coming upon the carcass of a brontosaurus/apatosaurus being devoured by a hord of small theropods. He chases the scavengers off, and cuts himself a huge slab of bronto meat. What he doens't ntice is he approach another larger carnivore (a deinonychus). Once alterted to the dinosaur's prescence, Tor and the beast battle for the meat. Our hero gets the worst of it, and the rator kicks him down a slope. The victorious reptile claims the meat. Tough the caption read "to be continued", as Sojourn ended with that issue, we didn't learn Tor's fate.


I had hopes that the story would conclude in the ninties Tor series, which did reprint the Sojourn stories as a backup feature. But instead of finishing the story, the final issue did a backup on how Tor was created. However, Kubert did tell how the story wpuld ended, though he hadn't finished yet. A cavegirl with trained hyenas finds Tor where he is wounded by the dinosaur and nurses him back to health.


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